Berhenti sekolah atau teruskan ke universiti?

I think the value of getting a great education – that is going to college – is easy to underestimate. The most interesting jobs require a college education. The STEM related jobs are probably the most interesting although they are not for everyone. The value of staying curious – reading a lot and learning new things even after college is also underestimated.

Source: Bill Gates, 2016

Masyarakat di Malaysia kini mempunyai pilihan sama ada ingin bekerja terus selepas tamat persekolahan, ataupun meneruskan pengajian ke peringkat universiti. Kedua-duanya mempunyai faedah yang tersendiri, sama ada anda memilih untuk menjadi Street Smart atau Book Smart, atau menjadi kedua-duanya.

Saya memetik kata-kata Bill Gates di atas. The most interesting jobs memerlukan anda untuk mendapatkan pendidikan tinggi di kolej atau universiti. Ini yang perlu anda ingat.

Dahulu, saya memilih kedua-duanya, dengan cara bekerja part-time setiap kali waktu cuti semester. Dengan cara ini saya mendapat pengalaman kerja sambil saya dapat menamatkan pengajian di IPTA.

Buatlah pilihan yang bijak. Jadilah insan yang berjaya dan memberi faedah kepada manusia yang lain.

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Get your life back. Get physical.

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If your eyes are always glued to the smartphone screen staring at random articles/status/photos on your Facebook Newsfeed, Twitter and Instagram, that simply means that you need to get your life back.

5 ways to get your life back

  1. Read books. I mean a physical book. Go to library, or get a second-hand book. You’ll feel really fresh and focused.
  2. Exercise. Set a concrete goal. Losing 400 calories is like burning 2 cups of rice, which equivalent to a 30 minutes of stationary bike exercise.
  3. Go out for a short walk. The use of smartphone doesn’t allow our brain to rest. Every microseconds were used to stimulate your brain and that is not good. You need the sub-conscious mind to process all those information through calm activity like a short walk, otherwise your brain will be fried (yeah I was thinking about burn-out actually). The most efficient short walk is when you don’t have any time or target destination.
  4. Meet people and talk to them face to face. Start with a cheesy opening about the whether today. Seriously. Do it. Why? You’d ask. Such opening gives you a glimpse of his/her life experience. That knowledge shall help you to relate each other and you’ll not going to feel lonely. Sure you’ll say that you don’t feel lonely because Facebook connects you more efficiently, but too much of those status/post/articles are able to drive you to depression.
  5. Get a physical hobby. The millenials sometimes responded that their hobby is to surf the internet. Yes but what is the immediate benefits of those information that you get in the internet? Why not use all those information towards doing something physical? Get a physical hobby. Cut something, glue something, sculp something, throw something, clean something. You’ll end up with something nice and great feeling of accomplishment as well.

Happiness is: Looking at life through a beautiful lens filter

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Me & Dato’ Ghazali bin Dato’ Mohd. Yusoff of Nusatek. Photo credit: My wife, 2016

On a nice afternoon at work, I’ve received a phone call from my wife. She and her team (PPSA, UMT) was in a meeting with Dato’ Ghazali (Dato’ Ghaz) of Nusatek Sdn Bhd (Dato’ Ghaz is currently appointed as one of the CEO in CEO@UMT programme). My wife told me that Dato’ Ghaz was very happy to meet me to discuss about future plans on marine renewable energy in Malaysia. I’ve manage to get some valuable notes from him. I’m quite fortunate because I manage to meet with Dato Ghaz prior to the UNESCO IOC-WESTPAC 11th Advisory Group Meeting 2016 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, in which I’m preparing some materials for the WG-004 Marine Renewable Energy Theme.

Other than work, in that short meeting I’ve managed to learn something really valuable from Dato’ Ghaz, regarding happy memories. If you read this blog since its inception in March 2011 (wow this blog is 6 years old now! Seriously?), sometimes I write on the theme of happiness, and this post is one of it. This time, the gem is, if you want happy memories, look at the event through a beautiful lens. A photo captured using a camera can have different feel due to lens effect, whether it felt retro, futuristic, refreshing, golden and so on. If you use instagram a lot, you’ll understand this as well.

There can be such thing like a sad memories that is beautiful, if you can see the silver lining in the event or if you can put a beautiful lens filter on that memory.

There can also be a happy memory that is ugly, if you focus on the small unfortunate detail, or if you put an ugly lens filter on that memory.

As a 70-year old man, Dato Ghaz always talk about of his beautiful memories. I believe a man of his capacity faced more challenges than me (a 33 year old kid), but yet, he said all of his memories are beautiful.

Therefore, it is up to us to choose the lens filter that we want to use to colour our memories.

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully in 10 Minutes, by Stephen King

Original content via http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/

1. Be talented
This, of course, is the killer. What is talent? I can hear someone shouting, and here we are, ready to get into a discussion right up there with “what is the meaning of life?” for weighty pronouncements and total uselessness. For the purposes of the beginning writer, talent may as well be defined as eventual success – publication and money. If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented. Now some of you are really hollering. Some of you are calling me one crass money-fixated creep. And some of you are calling me bad names. Are you calling Harold Robbins talented? someone in one of the Great English Departments of America is screeching. V.C. Andrews? Theodore Dreiser? Or what about you, you dyslexic moron?

Nonsense. Worse than nonsense, off the subject. We’re not talking about good or bad here. I’m interested in telling you how to get your stuff published, not in critical judgments of who’s good or bad. As a rule the critical judgments come after the check’s been spent, anyway. I have my own opinions, but most times I keep them to myself. People who are published steadily and are paid for what they are writing may be either saints or trollops, but they are clearly reaching a great many someones who want what they have. Ergo, they are communicating. Ergo, they are talented. The biggest part of writing successfully is being talented, and in the context of marketing, the only bad writer is one who doesn’t get paid. If you’re not talented, you won’t succeed. And if you’re not succeeding, you should know when to quit. When is that? I don’t know. It’s different for each writer. Not after six rejection slips, certainly, nor after sixty. But after six hundred? Maybe. After six thousand? My friend, after six thousand pinks, it’s time you tried painting or computer programming. Further, almost every aspiring writer knows when he is getting warmer – you start getting little jotted notes on your rejection slips, or personal letters . . . maybe a commiserating phone call. It’s lonely out there in the cold, but there are encouraging voices … unless there is nothing in your words which warrants encouragement. I think you owe it to yourself to skip as much of the self-illusion as possible. If your eyes are open, you’ll know which way to go … or when to turn back.

2. Be neat
Type. Double-space. Use a nice heavy white paper, never that erasable onion-skin stuff. If you’ve marked up your manuscript a lot, do another draft.

3. Be self-critical
If you haven’t marked up your manuscript a lot, you did a lazy job. Only God gets things right the first time. Don’t be a slob.

4. Remove every extraneous word
You want to get up on a soapbox and preach? Fine. Get one and try your local park. You want to write for money? Get to the point. And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can’t find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again . . . or try something new.

5. Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft
You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right – and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain – or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it … but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

6. Know the markets
Only a dimwit would send a story about giant vampire bats surrounding a high school to McCall’s. Only a dimwit would send a tender story about a mother and daughter making up their differences on Christmas Eve to Playboy … but people do it all the time. I’m not exaggerating; I have seen such stories in the slush piles of the actual magazines. If you write a good story, why send it out in an ignorant fashion? Would you send your kid out in a snowstorm dressed in Bermuda shorts and a tank top? If you like science fiction, read the magazines. If you want to write confession stories, read the magazines. And so on. It isn’t just a matter of knowing what’s right for the present story; you can begin to catch on, after awhile, to overall rhythms, editorial likes and dislikes, a magazine’s entire slant. Sometimes your reading can influence the next story, and create a sale.

7. Write to entertain
Does this mean you can’t write “serious fiction”? It does not. Somewhere along the line pernicious critics have invested the American reading and writing public with the idea that entertaining fiction and serious ideas do not overlap. This would have surprised Charles Dickens, not to mention Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Bernard Malamud, and hundreds of others. But your serious ideas must always serve your story, not the other way around. I repeat: if you want to preach, get a soapbox.

8. Ask yourself frequently, “Am I having fun?”
The answer needn’t always be yes. But if it’s always no, it’s time for a new project or a new career.

9. How to evaluate criticism
Show your piece to a number of people – ten, let us say. Listen carefully to what they tell you. Smile and nod a lot. Then review what was said very carefully. If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some facet of your story – a plot twist that doesn’t work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibles – change that facet. It doesn’t matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with you piece, it is. If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I’d still suggest changing it. But if everyone – or even most everyone – is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say.

10. Observe all rules for proper submission
Return postage, self-addressed envelope, all of that.

11. An agent? Forget it. For now
Agents get 10% of monies earned by their clients. 10% of nothing is nothing. Agents also have to pay the rent. Beginning writers do not contribute to that or any other necessity of life. Flog your stories around yourself. If you’ve done a novel, send around query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the manuscript complete. And remember Stephen King’s First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don’t need one until you’re making enough for someone to steal … and if you’re making that much, you’ll be able to take your pick of good agents.

12. If it’s bad, kill it
When it comes to people, mercy killing is against the law. When it comes to fiction, it is the law.

That’s everything you need to know. And if you listened, you can write everything and anything you want. Now I believe I will wish you a pleasant day and sign off.

Tips Interview Bagi Fresh Grads

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Just a quick note untuk mereka yang baru bergraduasi, Top 10 tips menjalani interview bagi fresh graduates.

  1. Jangan datang lambat untuk interview.
  2. Jangan kutuk boss/syarikat tempat anda pernah bekerja.
  3. Study dulu berkenaan syarikat yang anda sedang apply kerja.
  4. Sediakan soalan. Ya, anda boleh bertanya kepada panel interview. To loosen up the mood & get comfortable.
  5. Have a good time. Jangan terlalu stress. Smile.
  6. Be positive, look positive, feel positive.
  7. Jangan meleret. Jawab straight to the point.
  8. Jangan sibuk dengan smartphone.
  9. Be professionally dressed with respect to the position.
  10. Cuba fahami yang panel interview juga sedang nervous. So try to be a pleasant person to talk to 🙂

Engineers, Boredoms and How to Control Engineers

Engineers are interesting people. Overly critical, limitless imaginations, very talented, posses good motor skills and able to focus on interesting things in a very long period of time.

Engineers have the penchant to other human’s interest as well e.g. movies, arts and stuffs.

And their interests looked random as well.

For example, last week they were playing guitar, then tinkering with motorbike, writing codes for servers, planting grass, and later connecting wires to things in the house. This week suddenly they are doing maths, building flying robot, looking for ways to manipulate free electricity from the sun and finally writing some cryptic codes to automate the movement of a remote-controlled car that they intend to convert them to robots that can go take pictures and come home by themselves.

Engineers love to do interesting things, the reason for that mostly stems from their inherent characteristics of easily being bored.

Under several instances, engineers can get bored quickly;
1. The problem that they are trying to solve is too easy.
2. The problem that they are trying to solve is hard, and they manage to solve it.
3. You put the engineers inside meeting room with management-focused people that talks a lot.

The first and the second example above can be solved, by supplying them with endless resources of interesting problems and tools.

The third instance above is incurable. Engineers hate all-talks-and-no-action. Engineers are not your typist although they can type 90 words per minute.

If one is managing an engineer, one cannot ground them. Engineers are very reactive to interesting problems, and one must keep up with the engineers. Late by few seconds, they are up for something else. Better yet, try to suit one’s problem to be interesting so the engineers can get busy solving it.

Yep, now you understand why engineers act like one and how you can benefit from that.

Thinking too much is like a disease. The cure is Taking Action.

I found something worth pondering in the interwebz, here goes:

Internalise the idea that thinking too much leads to inaction. If you think too much, your mind will focus mainly on the negative part of it. The more you think, then the more opportunity you give those negative voices in your head to convince you not to act. Don’t wait until you’re ready. We’ll never be ready. You either start, or you continue thinking about starting. Realise that thoughts actually have NO REDEEMABLE VALUE. A million thoughts are worthless in comparison to 1 tiny action. Don’t linger on how much you have to do. Don’t linger on how effective your action needs to be. Simply do a tiny action as that is still INFINITELY greater than no action. So just start.